“My Family Comes First” & Other Lies Doctors Tell Their Wife

“Liar liar, pants on fire!”

You have no idea how many times I have wanted to blurt that out over the years. Totally mature, I know. But honestly, over all these years, there have been numerous times when I have felt so defeated and so let down because of the little un-truths that were said.

Here are four little “lies” that consistently popped up…and still do (but now I know the truth behind them):

Lie #1: My family comes first.

Truth: Medicine is number one. I don’t get personal days or really even any sick days.  I would rather be at my son’s baseball or my daughter’s recital , but I just can’t. I can’t leave my critically ill patient, or in the middle of check out, or leave my team scrambling to cover for me.

Helpful Hint: This is especially true during med school, residency, & fellowship. Not only are they there to learn, but they are under so much pressure to perform and find favor with their attendings. It’s a tough road but the sooner you can accept the fact you will be carrying most of the responsibilities at home, the better. It’s not fair. It stinks. But that’s just how it is. 

Lie #2: I’ll be home soon…I’m leaving in 20 minutes.

Truth: I really have no idea when I am leaving the hospital but I feel guilty I’m not home yet, so I’ll tell you a time because that’s what I think you want to hear. And I really wish I can leave in 20 minutes, but I who am I kidding?

Helpful hint: I made the rule with my husband that he is not to call me until he is in the car on his way home or even better – about 5 minutes away. Seriously, this has prevented many arguments. 

Lie #3: Sure, honey, make those plans to go out with your friends next week…I’ll be home in time to put the kids to bed. You don’t need to call a babysitter. 

Truth: I really want to be home in time so you can go out and have a break, and I hope I actually am able to. But honestly, I have no control over those patients who get admitted at the very last minute or the surgery that lasts longer than planned or the emergency that popped up right as I’m supposed to be “off.”

Helpful hint: Call a sitter. Nine times out of 10, he probably won’t make it home in time. If he actually does, apologize to the sitter & give her some gas money. Done. Now go out and have a fun time.

Lie #4: I promise life will get better when I’m done with residency/fellowship.

Truth: Don’t expect much. Yes, our salary will increase but my schedule won’t change a whole lot.

Helpful Hint: That is pretty much the truth. The increase in salary has been a HUGE burden lifted. But my husband hasn’t had a weekend off since September. He left the house this morning at 4:30a.m. and I’m not exactly sure when he’ll be home tonight. Set the bar low, my friends…set the bar really low.

truth lie

It took me a few years (and countless tears) to recognize these patterns. But when I was finally able to figure out what my husband was actually trying to say, I realized he made those promises with good (or maybe even guilt-driven) intentions.

He WANTED those things to be true. He wanted to leave in 20 minutes. He wanted to be home with the kids. He wanted to be there on their 1st day of school or for Dads & Donuts Day. And he wanted life after training to be dramatically different.

And now a little confession for the ladies:

THE BIG FAT LIE DOCTOR’S WIVES BELIEVE

Lie: This is too much. It’s not fair. I didn’t sign up for this. 

Truth: For better or for worse…For richer or for poorer <– You had no idea, right?! I don’t think any of us can ever understand what we are walking into when we said we’d marry a guy who is on the medical path. Even if someone tries to explain it, it’s not something you can truly understand until you live it…which makes it a very lonely place to be sometimes. You two are in this together. It takes a special woman to walk the path you are on. You’re guy loves you (even if he falls asleep mid-sentence) and he’s lucky to have you. You can do this.

Helpful Hint: So this is the hard part being married to one of these guys: You have to learn how to extend grace and forgiveness time after time after time. Because you will be disappointed. A lot. And if you don’t learn to forgive (or aren’t willing to), anger and bitterness will take root. It will find you in the dark and lonely places and feed you more lies. And that, my sweet friend, is the truth.

And I know that’s the truth…. because it happened to me.

…Or at least that’s what my therapy bill is telling me…

Posted in Marriage, Medical Life | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

In The Closet For A Good Cause

I decided that a way to make my 31 day blogging thing a little easier (cause you know I’m all about doing the least amount required), I would take a daily picture of what I’m wearing.

Side note: Did you know that this is called a “selfie”? Yes, the whole taking-a-picture-of-yourself thing. It’s called a selfie. Which, first of all, I think is the dumbest word ever and second, I want you to know that I do not enjoy doing this. I’d rather look like an idiot with my morning bedhead than take a for reals picture of myself and what I’m wearing. But it’s for a good cause, so I’ll suck it up.

Anyway, the reason I’m going to take these daily pictures…or “selfies” is so:

  1. You’ll see what “conscience” clothes I currently own.
  2. You will learn about the companies & non-profits I am “wearing” that day.
  3. You’ll realize that everything else I own I got at Target, Old Navy, or Costco
  4. You will see how often I wear the exact same thing.
  5. Like 4 or 5 days in a row.
  6. I might start to gross you out.
  7. Sorry.
  8. You will see that even though I hardly have anything in my closet, it is still messy.
  9. And like it or not, you will see my shining (or shiny) face every. single. day.
  10. That’s all.

So let’s get to it…

aWEARness Project Daily Selfie - Day 1

aWEARness Project Daily Selfie – Day 1
I like how I’m acting all cool and model-ish with my hand just hanging in the pocket.

The necklace is from Beautiful & Beloved. My friend, Amber, (great name, right?) opened up an this online boutique that carries products made from survivors of human trafficking. You can find jewelry, clothes, purses, scarves, and my favorite Elephanta Necklace.

The tank top is from Sevenly the week it supported Feed My Starving Children. Sevenly is a company who raise funds each week for a different non-profit. They do this by designing a custom graphic for that cause and sell different shirts, tanks, sweatshirts with that custom design for the next 7 days. So if you don’t buy it that week, it’s forever gone. $7 of every item sold, goes to the charity of that week. Pretty cool, right? ?

Everything else on me is from Target and Costco. See? I wasn’t kidding.

And that tank top? Yeah, this is the 4th day in a row I’ve been in it.

Well that was fun. Stay tuned for tomorrows outfit…

(spoiler alert: it probably won’t be much different.)

ap 31

Posted in 31 Days, aWEARness Project, Unconventional Life | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Jumping on the Bandwagon for 31 Days

So, I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

There is this thing that happens every October called 31 Days, where you blog on one topic every day this month. You can see the 1400+ people doing it over here.

I’ve contemplated participating, but every time I think I want to do it, I get all itchy and uncomfortable because, let’s be honest, is there really anything I can do for 31 days straight? Yeah, exactly.

There is no way on God’s green earth where I would actually write out thoughtful posts every. single. day. (Let us not forget that I have blogged a whopping 5 times in the last 5 months.) Now if I was organized and put some thought into this, I would have written the posts out in advance. But who am I kidding? Amber plan ahead? That’s unheard of!

I will say, I brainstormed a few topic ideas: 31 days of homemaking fails, 31 days of becoming a doctor’s wife, 31 days of dealing with depression, and then I had it….my stinkin’ awearness project. Yes. That was it.

It’s kinda what my life has been consumed with for the last 7 months (both good & bad). And my husband is probably sick and tired of hearing me talk about all the amazing companies and what I should wear and what I wish I had and how I don’t have any options and blah, blah, blah. So, lucky you! You get it now!

I decided to call it 31 Days of Lessons Learned From Creating a Closet With a Cause. I even made this little graphic for it.

ap lessons

And then I panicked and thought, what lessons have I learned? I already shared 10 of them last week? What more can I tell? I knew that if I tried this I would surely fail.

So then I decided I would just do 31 days of Things I Learned While Creating a Closet with a Conscience. (<– My daughter told me it should be a closet with a “conscience” rather than a “cause”. She’s smarter than me, so I took her advice.) So I went ahead and made this graphic.

things I learned

But then I panicked and thought, what 31 things have I learned? They may not be lessons, but what things can I share? How can I fill the pages? It was just too much pressure.

So I decided to make it simpler (read: more vague). And now we have 31 Days: Creating a Closet With a Conscience. And so once again, I made a graphic.

ap 31

(If I would have spent as much time on writing as I did on making these little pictures, I probably could have written all 31 posts!)

So there. I liked this one. It leaves it open enough that I can share one little thing or a whole lot of things or just a picture or a great big long post. (and also I think this allows me to blog about other stuff too. I think that is what makes me itchy – having to stick to just one topic…it’s just makes me feel too confined.) Plus, I’m hoping it will get me back to blogging again. I really do miss it. Kinda.

Honestly, I’m kind of excited about this whole thing. Since getting rid of my clothes on April 30th, I haven’t really had any accountability. OK, I’ve had NO accountability. It’s not that I went out on a shopping spree, but I just haven’t kept track of the clothes & accessories I do have – which ones are my “conscience clothes” & which are just regular ones. Hopefully I will explain and/or document my closet during this month. I know, sounds super fun, right? Heh.

So come along for the ride. It will be fun. I promise.

If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe over in the top right corner of this blog to get updates in you inbox. But if you don’t want to, then don’t. No one is forcing you, OK? OK.

Peace out & See ya tomorrow!

Posted in 31 Days, aWEARness Project, Unconventional Life | Tagged , | 2 Comments

For Those Who Are Tired of Holding it Together

Oh, precious friend,

I know you are tired. Exhausted. Running on the hamster wheel, spinning all the plates. And you say this is life. That you just have to get through this. Find a way to function in the chaos.

But sweet girl, that is no way to live this one life we are given. The world needs the very best of you and just “surviving” isn’t it.  

Sometimes when we pour ourselves into other activities and commitments, it’s so we don’t have to face what is standing right in front of us. Because those things hurt. And so we hide behind our “busyness”.

But here’s a secret: you can do the hard things. You can.

You’ve spent much of your life holding it together for everyone else. I know you are strong, so strong. But lately, it’s getting more difficult.

But here’s another secret: it’s OK to let go. It’s OK to say “I’m overwhelmed, I need help, I can’t do this anymore.” It doesn’t mean you are weak. It means you are real.

You are not responsible for everyone else. You can love and you can care and you can pray, but don’t carry the burdens.

You’ve spent so much energy on trying to hold it altogether, it’s time to let go.

leaf heart

Rest. Be Still.

You are so very loved.

xoxo

Posted in Encouragement, My Life, Stuck-in-a-funk{y} Life | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Just Sleep Naked {& Other Lessons I’ve Learned}

It’s been four months since cleaning out my closet (except for my 35 pieces) and I tell you what, it’s kind of been life changing. I know, that’s sounds a bit dramatic, but seriously, empty closetI just thought it was a fun little challenge but this process has taught me quite a few lessons so far.

For instance….

We really don’t need pajamas. When you are limited in what you get to keep in your closet, do you really want to waste it on ones you sleep in?

Alternative options for a sweet slumber:

  • the outfit you wore that day – makes it easy, you don’t have to change & you can even wear it the next day
  • a t-shirt – duh, that’s a no brainer
  • your under garments – just slip off your clothes and hop in bed
  • your bathing suit – this applies in the summer months, but doesn’t have to
  • nothing – as in, wear nothing. Sleep naked.

I may or may not have slept in any or all of those.

You can read the rest of my 10 Lessons I Learned over on the Mocha Club blog. Click here to see what else is on my list…

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Posted in aWEARness Project, My Life, Unconventional Life | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments